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International Theater Fest in SoCal

Purl The third annual California International Theatre Festival is gearing up for an impressive 11-day run in the cities of Calabasas, Ventura, and downtown Los Angeles.

Diverse offerings from Armenia, France, Germany, Canada, the U.S., and other nations will be included in the eagerly anticipated event, to be held September 8-19.

It is helmed by Joe Peracchio, Festival Director; Tammy Taylor, Executive Producer; and noted actor Linda Purl (pictured here), Founding Artistic Director.

Among highlights is the U.S. premiere of “Komitas’ 10 Commandments & Colors” by MIHR Theatre from Armenia, co-presented by the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance. This company synthesizes ethno-modern dance and new-movement theater with action-painting and history to break down barriers between genres of art, philosophy, and culture. This performance is dedicated to the 140th birthday of Komitas Vardapet, the Armenian composer, priest, and musicologist. Next is MIHR’s “Colors,” based on the basics of the action painting genre in which artists combine movement with colors and present the colors' specific concept, exploring the contact between the body and space.

Another enticing offering is the U.S. premiere of “The Cure of Everything” by Contrary Company from Canada.  This solo show, written and performed by Maja Ardal and directed by Mary Francis Moore, is set in 1962, in which a 15-year-old girl copes with the political fears of the day, including the Cuban Missle Crisis.

Also making its U.S. bow is “Roadway Closed To Pedestrians,” by Macadâmes Theatre Corporal from France, co-presented by The Luckman and Cal State Los Angeles. Using elements of clown, acrobatics, object manipulation, theatre, music, mime, and dance, this show works with the musicality of movement, the embodiment of sound, and the chill of tragedy to explore the sentiment of love.

Also among the eclectic array of presentations: "Scenario for a Non-Existent, But Possible, Instrumental Actor,"  by Evoe Performing Artists from Germany; “How We Got On,” a staged reading of the 2011 Eugene O’Neil Playwright’s Prize winning play by HBO Def Poet and renowned hip-hop playwright Idris Goodwin; and “Concert Under the Stars,” with Marjana Sadowska from Ukraine, combining storytelling with indigenous music from East Europe, the Middle East and the world.

SoCal Stages_blog U.S. fare is represented by  “Gaytino!,” written and performed by Dan Guerrero and directed by Diane Rodriguez, Previously performed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2006, this solo piece spins the tale of a remarkable life journey, as the gay son of a Latino music legend moves from the back of the bus to the front of American pop culture. Another U.S. offering,, “Café Burlesqu-O!,” is described as a racy speakeasy of fiery street poetry, burlesque sketches, and musical numbers,  directed by Peracchio and featuring  Idris Goodwin and international and local artists. In addition to more offerings, including some play readings, there will be a gala wrap party, hosted by the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas on September 18.

Visit the festival website for a complete list of productions and to purchase tickets. You can also call 888-712-2483.

 --Les Spindle


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It's so wonderful to see such a large array of different cultures and countries represented. Wish I was in LA to see it!

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